In the year 2000, my father opened a disc golf course in Rowlett, TX. I went with him to the grand opening ceremony...that was the first time I was ever exposed to the game of disc golf. Four years later, a friend that I was working with wanted to play a course, so I took him to the same course and played a round with him (and I played horribly enough for me not to try it again for a while). It wasn't until three years later that I was playing again with another friend. This time...I kinda got interested and bought three discs of my own...that was almost two years ago. In the past year and a half, I've adopted it as a hobby that helps me get outside, get excercise, and compete- three things I love to do.
For a while, I tried to play once a week...and sometimes I'd play twice a week. Last spring, I got really hooked on it and started watching videos online to help me get better, then I started buying more discs, then I bought a book and some magazines online. From one of these magazines, I found a website that had a blog that was devoted to helping disc golfers play better. The blog asked a well-known professional disc golfer to start a course to help people putt better. They had a formula, and a routine for practicing, and it was free...so I decided to do it. The idea was to throw putts for 30 minutes a day, everyday.... no big secret to success, just practice, practice, practice.
For a few days, I was really good about getting out and doing my putting...I'd putt, then play a round of golf...but then, life got busy and I stopped doing my putting regularly. During the time I was doing my putting practice, my scores improved a lot, and when I stopped, my scores suffered...here's a breakdown (for those who don't know golf scoring, PAR is good, under par ie: -3 is really good, and just above PAR is okay, but the goal is PAR or below)
In the month before I started the putting program, my scores averaged +6.6 over par. During the time I was putting regularly, my score improved to +3.6 over par...that's taking three fewer throws to finish 18 holes. And since I stopped doing my putting, my score has gone back to being +6.2 over par.
So what does this have to do with our relationship with God? Sometimes we think that making an effort to connect to God once a week is sufficient enough to grow in our relationship. But in reality, we need to continually seek more time with God. My scores improved because I put in an effort, and when I stopped, my scores showed my lack of effort. We often ask God to do things for us...but what God can't do for us is make us seek out time to get close to God. If you're feeling far from God and it's bothering you, perhaps it's time to start seeking God in your daily routine...see if you don't experience a difference!
Last note...quick math says that 30 minutes = a half-hour. There are 24 hours in a day, so 30 minutes equals 1/48 of a day. Many devotionals that are offered in stores or free online (like this one!) take 15 minutes or less...that equals 1/96...which is slightly more than 1% of a day. Do you think you could spare 1% of your time? Challenge: find a devotional, or talk to someone about a good book of the Bible to dive into for 1% of your day, everyday.
Check back on Thursday for Part 2 of Disc Golf & God